Belgrade, Serbia: 11,000 villagers trapped as the death toll rises to 123

Belgrade, Serbia: 11,000 villagers trapped as the death toll rises to 123

Niš : Serbia | Feb 02, 2012 at 2:35 PM PST
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Officials evacuated thousand of people in Albania, Bosnia, Montenegro and Serbia from flooding

Stranded Serbians in 6,500 homes in remote areas are snowed in with roads clogged and icy conditions. Snow banks are reportedly 16 feet high.

This is the harshest winter in decades with temperatures dropping to minus 22 F and below. Power outages, traffic problems and widespread closure of airports and transportation are the main concern. In Serbia, relief efforts are concentrated on evacuating the sick, on food delivery and gasoline distribution, which makes clearing the roads a priority.

The snow blizzard in Serbia’s mountains have trapped villagers for a week resulting in 123 deaths, many are believed to be homeless people.

Emergency crews are attempting to clear the snow so trucks can deliver supplies. Helicopters were dispatched to some remote areas in Serbia and neighboring Bosnia, according to AP reports.

"We are trying everything to unblock the roads since more snow and blizzards are expected in the coming days," Serbian emergency police official Predrag Maric told The Associated Press.

He said "the most dramatic" situation is near Serbia's southwestern town of Sijenica, where it has been freezing cold or snowing for 26 days, and diesel fuel supplies used by snowplows are running low.

Most people in the villages will have enough food supplies stored up for the winter, Maric said, but he warned those who are stranded not to try to go anywhere on their own and to call emergency services if they need help.

For the last week heavy snow has caused disruption across Europe, carpeting much of Italy to the south and Turkey to the east, reported by BBC.

The freeze that has swept south through the continent has caused at least 123 deaths, mainly in Ukraine and Poland.

Temperatures were so low that some areas in Romania along the shores of the Black Sea froze.

In central Italy, heavy goods lorries were barred from motorways and several top-flight football matches have fallen victim to the wintry conditions.

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Villages were cut off in Bosnia when the temperature fell to minus 10C. Phote: AP
Dava Castillo is based in Clearlake, California, United States of America, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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